Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton’

Pakistani diplomacy – a tour de force

May 28, 2011 1 comment
Cartoon by Jerry Holbert; Courtesy - Click for larger image.

Cartoon by Jerry Holbert; Courtesy - Click for larger image.

Without Comment

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled halfway around the world Friday for several hours of meetings with Pakistani leaders. Clinton’s brief visit — she arrived just after breakfast and was headed home by early afternoon — was part of the Obama administration’s efforts in recent weeks to leverage bin Laden’s killing during a secret raid by U.S. commandos into closer ties with Pakistan, rather than risk it finally severing the always-fragile partnership.

Administration officials also said they listened to Pakistan’s complaints about the slow delivery of promised military assistance and its desire for other forms of assistance that “they can show as proof of this relationship” to the Pakistani public. “We committed to look at that,” one official said.

Responding to recent reports that Pakistan has tried to solidify its ties with China and other traditional friends as a hedge against troubles with the United States, Clinton said that Americans provide Pakistan with “more support than Saudi Arabia, China and everybody else combined. . . . I’m not sure many Pakistanis know that.”

It was far from the first time the United States has announced an attempted reset. But administration officials traveling with Clinton said that the seriousness of the current crisis had forced both sides to confront the possible consequences of an irreconcilable breach and that the talks were marked by a new level of frankness.

After her news conference at the U.S. Embassy, she was whisked back to her plane and gone before most Pakistanis were even aware she was here.(via Clinton visits Pakistan to firm up new ties – The Washington Post; parts excised /reordered for brevity and continuity).

Cartoon By Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle From the Cartoonist Group; Courtesy - Click for larger image.

Cartoon By Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle From the Cartoonist Group; Courtesy - Click for larger image.

She expressed Washington’s “strong commitment” to relations with Pakistan. Mrs Clinton said that the US had “absolutely no evidence that anyone at the highest level of the Pakistani government” knew where Bin Laden was and said she would return to Washington “ever more committed” to the relationship. In what correspondents say was perhaps an attempt to smooth ruffled Pakistani feathers over the killing, Mrs Clinton acknowledged the ”sacrifices made every single day by the men and women Pakistan’s military and its citizens”.

Mrs Clinton was accompanied on her visit by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm Mike Mullen. The pair held meetings with senior Pakistani politicians and army officers to plead for greater co-operation in the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Having all of Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership in one room was unusual, perhaps an effort to get them talking to each other more.

It is the first such high-level visit to Pakistan since the killing of Bin Laden on 2 May. (via BBC News – Clinton exonerates Pakistan over Osama Bin Laden; parts excised /reordered for brevity and continuity).

Taliban and Pakistan Nukes; Cartoon by Mike Keefe; 04/25/2009 (Ref Num:69801); Courtesy - Click forlarger image.

Taliban and Pakistan Nukes; Cartoon by Mike Keefe; 04/25/2009 (Ref Num:69801); Courtesy - Click forlarger image.

Pakistan is preparing for further deterioration, building its non-U.S. alliances and options. For Pakistanis, the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden was a vivid demonstration that America does not respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The presence of American drones flying into Pakistan’s airspace underscores this all the time. For Americans, the fact that bin Laden was hiding for years in a major Pakistani garrison town surrounded by Pakistani army cantonments and retired officers’ homes confirmed the U.S. view that the country engages in a complex double game of patronizing some terrorists while fighting others. Both sides are right about the other.

Pakistan has seen the United States cut off aid many ties before in the last half century. It knows Washington is capricious. So it is strengthening its alternatives east and west. China is Pakistan’s reliable “all weather” ally. Both Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders travel often to Beijing to ensure close cooperation. Chinese engineers are building highways to link Tibet to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are key Muslim allies to the west. Pakistan has been the kingdom’s largest recipient of aid for decades and Saudi Prince Bandar just visited Islamabad to secure promises of Pakistani troops if the Arab Spring threatens to erupt in the gulf monarchies. A battalion of Pakistani troops is in Bahrain backing up the Saudi and Emirati forces that intervened there this year to crush the Shia protest movement.(via America’s Menacing Pakistan Problem – Brookings Institution; parts excised /reordered for brevity and continuity).

‘Honest’ Broker – United States Foreign Policy!

October 2, 2010 2 comments
The Buddhist Jataka that travelled to Victorian England!

The Buddhist Jataka that travelled to Victorian England!

India and Honest Brokers

There is this Buddhist Jataka story which we have all heard.

Two cats go to a monkey for help in dividing some eatable equally. End result – the monkey gets everything. The cats, nothing. ‘Honest’ brokers are the monkey which leaves nothing for the cats.

Hillary Clinton assured a nervous gathering of Foreign Policy analysts that the world is counting on the USA today as it has in the past. When old adversaries need an honest broker or fundamental freedoms need a champion, people turn to us. When the earth shakes or rivers overflow their banks, when pandemics rage or simmering tensions burst into violence, the world looks to us. (via Remarks on United States Foreign Policy).

In real life

What is left of Pakistan after US finished with brokering Pakistan’s future? After the West carved up the Ottoman Empire, and divided the Turkish possessions among their puppets, what is left of the Middle East? With oil, Big Oil, oil politics, oil-dollar, oil prices at stake, can the US be a honest broker.

Tell that to the birds.

With oil at stake, how 'honest' a broker can the US be? (Cartoon by Pat Oliphant). Click for larger image.).

With oil at stake, how 'honest' a broker can the US be? (Cartoon by Pat Oliphant). Click for larger image.

Can there be a ‘honest’ broker?

This idea that there cannot be ‘honest’ brokers, made Buddhism so popular all over the world. Not pretty statues and musical chants. In the last 200 years, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has gone into regression. But, in this period, the world has also learnt more about the limitations of the Desert Bloc ideology.

People get ready!

Why is Hillary Clinton talking to India on Blackberry issue

September 3, 2010 8 comments

Canadian trap-doors

This is interesting!

RIM-Blackberry is a Canadian company. Their main business is to provide safe, secure and reliable system for mobile email over mobile phones. Operating in more than a 100 countries having tie ups with most mobile operators in the world.

From computerworld cartoons by John Klossner.

From computerworld cartoons by John Klossner.

India (among other countries) see a security threat with the Blackberry system due to its high encryption rate. The Blackberry system uses a AES-Triple-DES-128 bit encryption system, which cannot be broken in real-time.

Blackberry claims that they do not have any trap-doors or back-doors for access to data – which seems doubtful.

But the absence of trap-doors and back-doors is possible, as Blackberry system has not suffered from too many malware attacks or hacking of its servers.

US back-doors

The use of Blackberry system by terrorists is stoking the fears of Government of India (GOI). To get over this threat, the GOI has asked Blackberry to install Blackberry servers in India. This ensures that access to decrypted data on a real-time basis – as the data on the server resides in a decrypted form. Blackberry is resisting this solution.

From computerworld cartoons by John Klossner

From computerworld cartoons by John Klossner

“We are reaching out to those countries – the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India and others – to understand the security concerns and see if we can work collaboratively to find solutions.

“So that’s a process that is ongoing here at the Department of State. I’ve got no, you know, announcements to make at this point,” State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters at his daily news conference.

The United States has also been in touch with RIM, the Canadian company that operates the BlackBerry network worldwide. (via US to hold talks with India on Blackberry issue).

Blackberry is a Canadian company. A purely commercial organisation. Why is the US Government getting involved at all. In fact even the Canadian Government has no role, as far as I can see. GOI is asking Blackberry to follow the law of the land. It is security (for GOI) and a commercial decision (for RIM-Blackberry).

Are you telling me that US does not have alternatives to Blackberry for secure data transmissions!

Are you telling me that US does not have alternatives to Blackberry for secure data transmissions!

One report tries explaining the US interest

The United States has also been in touch with RIM, the Canadian company that operates the BlackBerry network worldwide.

Earlier … Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “We are taking time to consult and analyse the full range of interests and issues at stake because we know that there is a legitimate security concern, but there’s also a legitimate right of free use and access. So, I think we will be pursuing both technical and expert discussions as we go forward.”

If some of these countries follow through on the BlackBerry ban that they have announced, it would have an impact on the US government and its diplomats operating in different countries.

A case of severe crackberry

Now would the US Secretary of State be involved if Blackberry usage for some 2000 diplomats was affected? Two things.

One – the Indian Government would be able check on all Blackberry emails that US diplomats are sending via Blackberry. That will mean US diplomats will need to send encrypted mails over internet – which is not such a difficulty.

Two – This reminds me of the Australian-PM’s-speech-copied-by-Canadian-PM’s-speechwriter scandal.

Give me a good story otherwise.

Hillary Clinton on Humanitarian Aid to Pakistan – The White House, Press Office

May 21, 2009 1 comment
Hillary and lies ...tch ... tch ...!

Hillary and lies ...tch ... tch ...!

it is fair to say that our policy toward Pakistan over the last 30 years has been incoherent. I don’t know any other word to use. We came in in the ’80s and helped to build up the Mujahideen to take on the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis were our partners in that. Their security service and their military were encouraged and funded by the United States to create the Mujahideen in order to go after the Soviet invasion and occupation.

The Soviet Union fell in 1989, and we basically said, thank you very much; … Their democracy was not secure and was constantly at risk of and often being overtaken by the military, which stepped in when it appeared that democracy could not work.

And so I think that when we ask that question it is fair to apportion responsibility to the Pakistanis, but it’s also fair to ask ourselves what have we done and how have we done it over all of these years, and what role do we play in the situation that the Pakistanis currently confront.

… our new approach toward Pakistan is qualitatively different than anything that has been tried before. … we support the democratically elected government, but we have to have a relationship where we are very clear and transparent with one another; where we have the kind of honest exchanges that have come out of our trilateral meetings, where we’re sitting across the table and we’re saying, what do you intend to do about what we view as an extremist threat to your country, which by the way, also threatens us.

… it is our responsibility to support the democratically elected government, to be a source of advice and counsel where requested, but also to step in with aid that can try to make this government as successful as possible in delivering results for the people of Pakistan. (via The White House – Press Office – Briefing by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Humanitarian Aid to Pakistan).

So much excitement …

Is admission of ‘truth’ something that merits a celebration? Does obfuscation and cover-ups for the last 50 years, get  ‘white-washed’ by an admission of ‘guilt’ – and a some paltry million dollars in ‘aid’ – outlined many times in many 2ndlooks and Quicktakes?

The Indian media is agog with this ‘story’! And a section of the US media is worried about what all Hillary will ‘admit’?

Not what the US does – but what will Pakistan do …

That is important.

Will the Pakistan nation take charge. Will the Pakistani establishment admit’ the truth. Will they remove the cobwebs of self delusion? There is some ambivalence in Pakistan about their attitude towards India.

Modern Pakistan

Pakistan is actually 5 parts. First is the army and the ISI combination. Then there are the popular politicians who participate in elections. Add the mullah-madrasa-mujahhid combine with a fundamentalist clergy, various terrorist groups – like JeM, LeT, Al Qaida, various Taliban factions et al make up the third.

The fourth part are the 22 families that control the economy and wealth of Pakistan. Mahbub-ul-Haq’s “22 families” speech in Karachi in 1968 highlighted the power and wealth of a few families in Pakistan.

And bringing up the rear there are the rest. No one in Pakistan talks to anyone. Each has contempt for the other four. And all five have separate agenda.

With Or Without The West

For 60 years, India has grown steadily – slowly, and in spite of the West.

India’s defense production, its nuclear program or its space program and its India’s software success are homegrown. As are its successes in industry, stockmarkets, education, films and television programming, its democracy and the rise of its middle class. In the nuclear industry, India’s thorium approach to nuclear energy design will possibly open new realms in nuclear arena. At various times, when India has been stuck, it has been the West that has pushed India further into a corner. Even in matters of foodgrain, when India was a user of PL-480 grain. Or for instance, the Kaveri jet engine or the cryogenic engines.

While our Manubhai is chasing the chimera of Western approval and panting and drooling to ’sit at the high table in the global comity of nations,’ the back yard, Manubhai is burning.

And Pakistan should possibly learn this one thing from India.

India’s Pakistan Fixation

Of course, the Indian part of the equation needs looking at, also.

September 11th, 2008. US President George Bush permitted US troops to take offensive actions against its ally, Pakistan – in the US War against terror! Indian news channels were elated – and it must have taken Arnab Goswami (of Times Now) a lot of self-restraint not to do a gig. It took 4 generations of Indian (and now part of Pakistan) leaders to throw out the West from the sub-continent. 60 years later, India is celebrating the return of the West, to the sub-continent. The most potent symbol of this is India’s Pakistan Fixation.

The Pakistan Fixation is a a cover-up of India’s laziness or lack of resolve. I don’t really believe that Pakistan has the focus or the persistence to do half the things that India imagines Pakistan is doing. In the last 20 years, India has lowered its guard – and has become further fixated on the Pakistan bogey. The Pakistan Fixation hides Indian ineptness at confronting the root of Pakistani problem – USA, amongst others.

Western policy today ... in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan     Western policy today ... in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan

Western Adventurism – The Imperative

Without slavery, the West does not enjoy the manpower edge that it had till 1900. The loss of colonies from 1900-1950 has taken away the resource base and captive markets for Western dominance. Now with the collapse of Bretton Woods, the opacity in financial systems is diminished. The welfare state has put a significant burden on an aging Western population.

With fading prowess on one side, and a resurgent Asia on the other, the US and EU are now at the cross roads. Is the West prepared to quietly fade away in the sunset?


What Have We Achieved

60 years on, there is nothing to show for these border disputes. Dutifully, the Indians, Pakistanis and the Chinese glare at each other – over colonial border issues. These border issues are less than peripheral to our nations. We have allowed the past to hold our future as a hostage.

The past is extracting a ransom that we cannot afford to pay. Let us recognize our past for what it is – empty ballast that is dragging us down. Having achieved nothing on this front for the last 60 years, why do we wish to continue down that path? We need to see that going downhill is always easier than climbing the Himalayas.

Pakistans faith in the West is touching .. and amusing!

Pakistan's faith in the West is touching .. and amusing!

The Detritus

As various colonial powers were forced out of various colonies, left behind was the garbage of colonialism. This post-colonial debris has become the ballast, that is dragging down many newly de-colonized countries.

Vietnam suffered from a prolonged war (1956-1976) – and finally peace had a chance after 20 years of war. Korea remains divided. The Cyprus problem between Turkey, Greece and the Cypriots has been simmering for nearly 100 years. The role of the Anglo Saxon Bloc, in Indonesia, the overthrow of Sukarno, installation of Suharto and finally the secession of East Timor is another excellent example. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict (1935 onwards) will soon enter its 75th year. The entire Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a creation of the Anglo-French-American axis. The many other issues in the West Asia and Africa are living testimony of the Western gift to the modern world.

Closer home is the Kashmir problem. After 60 years of negotiations, India-Pakistan relations have remained hostage to the Kashmir issue. Similarly, between China and India, the border issues remain 60 years after the eviction of Britain from India.

India and Pakistan must remember that the Pakistani armies and the Indian armies at the time of the 1948 Indo-Pak War, were under the command of British Generals. India’s Governor General , in 1948 was Mountbatten, who was removed after this mischief was done.

Pakistan special effects

Things become more difficult when leaders like Asif Ali Zardari dismiss written agreements with his coalition partners, PML (N) headed by Nawaz Sharf, claiming agreements were not”holy like the holy Koran.” Or when General Musharraf starts a Kargil War with a rogue army that is no longer under the command of the civilian authority.

2ndlooks and Quicktakes on Pakistan

Pakistan – a nation in fidayeen mode?

What should India’s counter terrorism plan look like …

Mumbai Massacre – The real blame and real culprits

India’s Pakistan Fixation

Terrorists And Counterfeit Indian Currency

For More Than 60 Years …

Indo Pak Relations – What Will It Take

India Lowers Guard

New Empire Builders – Neo-Cons Sneaking In

The Carving Of The Middle East

British Empire & The Anglo Saxon Bloc

Behind The Web Of Terror

%d bloggers like this: